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An AR-15 and other semi-automatic .223 rifles make excellent self-defense platforms. They’re usually reasonably compact, easy to shoot, and have plenty of power for defensive shooting.
And, since you’ll rarely (if ever) be wearing hearing protection if you need to use your .223 rifle for self or home-defense, a suppressor is an excellent self-defense muzzle device.
And it’s not just about your hearing. The concussion of shooting a rifle inside a house can be disorienting. So a suppressor can make you more efficient with your defensive rifle.
You also get tons of cool guy points for having a suppressor on your gun.
SPOILER—if a suppressor sounds like it should be your next purchase, get the SilencerCo Omega Suppressor. It’s one of the most compact and most capable suppressors on the market. And it’s reasonably priced.
If you’re on the market for something a little different or maybe more specific, this is the place to be. We’ll show you around all the best 223 suppressors, and you can make your pick.
Top 223 Suppressor on the Market Today
Best 223 Suppressor Reviews - Hearing Safe Self-Defense
The overall best 223 suppressor is first. The best 223 suppressor in each category will be reviewed in order of price.
Inexpensive suppressors up here near the top.
Scroll to the bottom to find the most expensive suppressors you can get.
And on with the silence.
1. SilencerCo Omega Suppressor - Overall Best 223 Suppressor
The SilencerCo Omega Suppressor is one of the best selling suppressors in the world because it’s one of the best performing suppressors on the market. And it’s priced well enough that most people can afford this suppressor.
The main thing is sound suppression. And this suppressor delivers on that front. It’s capable of making everything from a 5.7mm to a 300 Winchester Magnum hearing safe. So it’s more than enough for a .223 round.
But, it’s also relatively compact. This suppressor is only 7.09 inches long. It only adds about 5 inches of length to your rifle. So you still get most of your rifle’s maneuverability with this suppressor on the end.
And this suppressor uses a titanium tube and stellite baffles for exceptionally long service life and minimal cleaning requirements.
The construction is also lightweight. This suppressor weighs just 14 ounces.
Lastly, the included Anchor Brake muzzle cap reduces felt recoil and makes your rifle shoot extremely soft. So you get more control.
The only real downside is the muzzle device compatibility. There are only 2 muzzle devices that are compatible with the SilencerCo quick detach system. They’re good muzzle devices (the muzzle brake is included, and it works well). But the muzzle device options are a bit limited.
However, this is still an outstanding suppressor that’s perfect for a defensive rifle. But you could easily put this suppressor on a bolt-action or any other rifle and be happy with it.
2. OSS BPR26 5.56 Auto Suppressor - Full-Auto 223 Suppressor
Full-auto rifles are hard to come by for civilians. But there are benefits to having a full-auto rated suppressor. And the OSS BPR26 5.56 Auto Suppressor delivers these benefits plus a few extras.
But, before we talk about full-auto, let’s clarify that this suppressor does it’s primary job quite well. The sound level of a 5.56 is 136 decibels, which is hearing safe. So this suppressor protects your hearing the way it should.
Now for the full-auto stuff.
This suppressor is (obviously) full-auto rated.
But the thing that makes it nice for fully-automatic and sustained rapid fire is the helix end cap, which reduces back pressure and blows less gas in your face. So it’s much more comfortable to shoot than some other suppressors without any modifications to your rifle.
The end cap also functions as a flash hider and muzzle brake to reduce your visual signature and give you more control over your shots.
And it’s just 8 inches long. It’s not the shortest suppressor on the market. But it’s still fairly compact.
However, this OSS suppressor is a bit heavy. It weighs 21.5 ounces. So you’ll feel it out on the end of your muzzle.
But the performance is solid. And it keeps gas out of your face so you can keep your eyes on your target.
3. Dead Air Armament Sandman-K Suppressor - Compact 223 Suppressor
The Dead Air Armament Sandman-K Suppressor is by far the best performing suppressor of its size. There just aren’t any other suppressors that are this short and offer as much sound suppression.
This suppressor is just 5.4 inches long and delivers enough sound suppression to make .223 rounds hearing safe. The sound level measures at about 138 or 139 decibels for most rifles, which is just below the hearing safe threshold.
It only adds 2.9 inches to the overall length of your rifle. That’s a lot of sound reduction per inch! And there’s no minimum barrel length restrictions on this suppressor. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to keep their rifle compact, even when it’s suppressed (or keep a long gun from being ridiculously long).
This suppressor is built with stellite baffles, which last longer and require less cleaning than inconel baffles. So it lasts a long time and is simple to use.
Lastly, this suppressor is full-auto and magnum caliber rated. It will handle everything up to a 300 Winchester Magnum. However, it’s not quite strong enough to make larger magnum cartridges hearing safe.
There are suppressors out there that offer better sound suppression. But there are very few suppressors that offer this much sound suppression in such a short form factor. If you need a short suppressor that still protects your hearing, this suppressor is the only way to go.
4. Sig Sauer SRD556Ti-QD Suppressor - Budget 223 Suppressor
Sig rarely makes anything that qualifies as a “budget” option. However, the Sig Sauer SRD556Ti-QD Suppressor is both surprisingly capable and surprisingly affordable.
First, it attenuates the sound of a .223 round down to 134 decibels, which is well within hearing safe limits.
But it’s still only 6.8 inches long. It’s not the most compact suppressor available. It offers an excellent size to sound reduction ratio, though.
Additionally, the tubeless titanium construction is ridiculously durable. This suppressor is virtually indestructible.
And the quick detach system offers a tight lockup that delivers a minimal shift in point of impact. Most shooters notice about a 2 MOA shift in point of impact. Some suppressors offer less point of impact shift. But the shift from this suppressor is totally manageable.
Unfortunately this suppressor is not user serviceable. It is serviceable. But you’ll need to send it back to Sig or have a gunsmith service your can.
However, this Sig Sauer suppressor is still one of the best for the money on the market. It’s tough to find suppressors that are this quiet and this compact for this price. So this is a good option for anyone looking to maximize their gun budget.
5. AAC SR7 Suppressor - Value 223 Suppressor
The Advanced Armament SR7 Suppressor is essentially the 7.62 model of their popular AAC SR5 suppressor. However, the SR7 is usually in stock. And it’s a multi-caliber suppressor, which makes it more cost efficient.
And the sound attenuation of this suppressor is excellent. It easily brings a .223 round into the hearing safe range. It’s also capable of suppressing 7.62mm, 300BLK, and other common rifle rounds. So you can throw this suppressor on a lot of guns.
The AAC ratchet quick detach system is also excellent. It’s super easy to attach and detach this suppressor. And the quick detach system locks up very securely. The point of impact shift with this suppressor is typically about 1.5 MOA, which is less than many competing suppressors.
Lastly, the blast baffle on this AAC suppressor is specially designed to reduce wear and erosion more than other blast baffles. So this suppressor is an especially good option if you have a short-barreled rifle, since it holds up to the gas corrosion better.
Since this is a multi-caliber suppressor, it’s a tad longer than some dedicated .223 suppressors. However, it’s only 7.6 inches long, which is just an inch longer than the SR5.
You don’t give up much maneuverability to get a suppressor that will work on a lot of rifles. And the price is hard to beat.
6. NEMO Arms Elite-FA-QD 5.56 NATO Suppressor - Best 223 Suppressor for the Money
The NEMO Arms Elite-FA-QD 5.56 NATO Suppressor is an affordable suppressor that performs well in just about every aspect, though it’s not the best in any particular area.
First, the sound attenuation is enough to bring a .223 round well within hearing save levels. However, it’s also just 7 inches long.
It has better sound suppression than most compact suppressors. But it only adds about 5 inches to the overall length of your rifle. So it’s a good mix of compact size and sound attenuation.
Additionally, this suppressor comes with one of the best quick detach muzzle devices available. The included 3-lug flash hider looks cool and works quite well as a standalone muzzle device.
And it locks up very securely for a 3-lug system. There’s no wobble, and the point of impact shift is very minimal (less than 2 MOA). The 3-lug attachment on this suppressor is almost as good as the Dead Air Armament KeyMount system, and that’s saying something.
Lastly, this suppressor is full-auto rated. So you can run this suppressor pretty hard.
This suppressor is a tad more expensive than other budget suppressors. But the price is very good for a suppressor that delivers such good all-around performance. So the value for the money is excellent.
7. Surefire SOCOM556-RC2 Suppressor - Tactical 223 Suppressor
There’s just no way I could leave the Surefire SOCOM556-RC2 Suppressor off the list. It’s the official selection of the U.S. Special Operations Command. So it’s got a lot of street cred right off the bat.
This suppressor brings the report of a .223 round below 140 decibels. It’s not THE BEST sound suppression. But it meets the requirements of the military contract. And it’s hearing safe.
However, this suppressor is just 6.2 inches long. Even though the sound suppression isn’t the best, it doesn’t add much to the overall length of your rifle. So it’s a good option for 10.5, 11.5, and 12.5 inch builds.
The baffles and end cap are also designed to minimize gas blowback and reduce muzzle flash. So it reduces your audio and visual signature.
Of course it’s full-auto rated. And it’s got a really high heat tolerance. This suppressor is a good option for those who like to train hard with their suppressed rifle.
And the quick detach system delivers a remarkably secure lockup and a very minimal point of impact shift. The point of impact shift is also consistent. So the change in performance from unsuppressed to suppressed shooting is predictable.
All in all, this Surefire suppressor delivers excellent performance and durability. It’s pretty expensive though. But, if you can afford it, this is an excellent suppressor for hard use on short-barreled rifles.
Looking cool is what matters most. And a suppressor checks that box.
But protecting your hearing is also cool. And a suppressor also checks that box. That’s why a suppressor is an excellent addition to any defensive rifle, AR-15 or otherwise.
If you want to protect your hearing, but still aren’t sure which suppressor to get, pick up the SilencerCo Omega Suppressor. The sound suppression is excellent. It’s a fairly compact suppressor. And it’s about in the middle of the price spectrum.
Now you know why you should get a suppressor and which ones are best. So, if using your rifle to protect yourself would blow your hearing away, you’re out of excuses for that.